A wind brought me from Troy to the Kikonians

So, you know my whole theory that Freyja is Kírkē and Óðr is Odysseus, who has forgotten that he is Dionysos?

Well, I found something that could be interpreted as further confirmation.

And I don’t mean this statue of a Bacchic Freyja whose staff is topped by a little dancing Satyr, which Tetra recently posted about:


Though that is pretty fucking cool.

Our household actually has one of these, though I use a different eidolon in my personal devotional practice. My mouth hung open like a gasping fish (or dolphin) when I first saw it.

No, what I’m referring to is a passage from George Hinge’s Dionysos and Herakles in Scythia ‒ The Eschatological String of Herodotos’ Book 4, which I was rereading to mine for ideas for the play. Specifically, this passage:

A fragment of a black-glazed kylix found in Olbia carries the very beginning of Odysseus’ own tale in the Odyssey (9.39): Ἰλιο[θεν] µε φ[ερων] ἄνεµ[ος Κικ]ονεσσι [πελ]ασσεν “a wind brought me from Troy to the Kikonians” (= SEG XXX, 933); given that the concept of the wind carrying the soul to and fro was ascribed to Orpheus (Arist. De an. 410b = Orph. fr. 27 Kern), and the Thracian Kikonians and their king Ismaros were connected not only with wine (Od. 9.196-7, Archil. fr. 2.2 West), but also with Dionysos (cf. Ps.-Hes. fr.238 Merkelbach-West), the inscription may be yet another testimony to the character of the Olbian cult of Dionysos.

The Winds or Anemoi were really important in certain strains of Orphism, as Renaud Gagné makes clear in Winds and Ancestors: The Physika of Orpheus. Ditto the more Apollonian/Pythagorean side of the tradition, as Leonid Zhmud shows in Pythagoras’ Northern Connections: Zalmoxis, Abaris, Aristeas (and you yourself may have noticed with how frequently Boreas in particular has been showing up.)

Troy, by the way, is the Labyrinth – and labyrinths are important both in Russia and Scandinavia. Indeed, Snorri Sturluson relates in the Prologue to the Prose Edda (3-4) that the Æsir were originally neighbors and allies of the Trojans: 

Near the earth’s centre was made that goodliest of homes and haunts that ever have been, which is called Troy, even that which we call Turkland. This abode was much more gloriously made than others, and fashioned with more skill of craftsmanship in manifold wise, both in luxury and in the wealth which was there in abundance. There were twelve kingdoms and one High King, and many sovereignties belonged to each kingdom; in the stronghold were twelve chieftains. These chieftains were in every manly part greatly above other men that have ever been in the world. One king among them was called Múnón or Mennón; and he was wedded to the daughter of the High King Priam, her who was called Tróán; they had a child named Trór, whom we call Thor. He was fostered in Thrace by a certain war-duke called Lóríkus; but when he was ten winters old he took unto him the weapons of his father. He was as goodly to look upon, when he came among other men, as the ivory that is inlaid in oak; his hair was fairer than gold. When he was twelve winters old he had his full measure of strength; then he lifted clear of the earth ten bear-skins all at one time; and then he slew Duke Lóríkus, his foster-father, and with him his wife Lórá, or Glórá, and took into his own hands the realm of Thrace, which we call Thrúdheim. Then he went forth far and wide over the lands, and sought out every quarter of the earth, overcoming alone all berserks and giants, and one dragon, greatest of all dragons, and many beasts. In the northern half of his kingdom he found the prophetess that is called Síbil, whom we call Sif, and wedded her. The lineage of Sif I cannot tell; she was fairest of all women, and her hair was like gold. […] He who is named Vóden, whom we call Odin: he was a man far-famed for wisdom and every accomplishment. His wife was Frígídá, whom we call Frigg. Odin had second sight, and his wife also; and from their foreknowledge he found that his name should be exalted in the northern part of the world and glorified above the fame of all other kings. Therefore, he made ready to journey out of Turkland, and was accompanied by a great multitude of people, young folk and old, men and women; and they had with them much goods of great price. And wherever they went over the lands of the earth, many glorious things were spoken of them, so that they were held more like gods than men. They made no end to their journeying till they were come north into the land that is now called Saxland; there Odin tarried for a long space, and took the land into his own hand, far and wide.

Which may be where they first met Óðrysseus, before he was carried away by a terrible storm.

Possibly even a Typhoon.

4 thoughts on “A wind brought me from Troy to the Kikonians

  1. And, you’ve cited the bit that few ever talk about: that Thor is the son of Memnon, i.e. the Ethiopian Hero of the Trojans who had a shrine in Egypt, etc. Nice! :)


  2. “Therein furthermore the famed god of the two strong arms cunningly wrought a dancing-floor like unto that which in wide Cnosus Daedalus fashioned of old for fair-tressed Ariadne.”

    ἐν δὲ χορὸν ποίκιλλε περικλυτὸς ἀμφιγυήεις,
    τῷ ἴκελον οἷόν ποτ᾽ ἐνὶ Κνωσῷ εὐρείῃ
    Δαίδαλος ἤσκησεν καλλιπλοκάμῳ Ἀριάδνῃ.

    From the Iliad, the end of Book 18. I have wondered about this for the past few years. Was the original labyrinth really a dancing floor? It was part of a ritual too. Theseus is credited with introducing some ritual dance(γερανός) to Delos that imitated the labyrinth. There is a remnant of the custom of a man and woman walking the labyrinth together, in some places. Maybe the myth about the minotaur got elaborated based on a much older ritual. But why associate it with Troy?

    Do you read the Odyssey as something like an Otherworld journey? To me it seems like one. It makes more sense that way to me. It is so full of mystery motifs.


    1. I think that may be one of many reasons why the Irish did their version of it the way they did, i.e. to make it a bit more like some of their own native immrama. Some of them even end with a “vengeance” killing…


    2. The Labyrinth is polysemic. It is simultaneously a racecourse, a hunting ground, a dance floor, a path to be traveled, a gateway to other worlds, and a metaphor for life.

      Maybe the myth about the minotaur got elaborated based on a much older ritual.

      I definitely think that’s the case. More, I think that older ritual and the understanding of its deeper meaning was lost over time, and the Greeks projected their own associations onto it, and subsequent peoples have been repeating that process ever since. That doesn’t make these reinterpretations less authentic (because polysemy) just different.

      But why associate it with Troy?

      I think that started because of the intricate system of layered walls the city had (which complicated invasions) but later on Troy developed a significance comparable to Jerusalem or Mecca, and not just for the Greeks and Romans. Many barbarian populations claimed descent from the Trojans in an attempt to gain legitimacy and if the Trojan people were so important, than their city had to be even moreso.

      Do you read the Odyssey as something like an Otherworld journey? To me it seems like one. It makes more sense that way to me. It is so full of mystery motifs.

      Very much so. And if the article I linked to above by George Hinge is correct that’s also how Herodotos intended his Histories to be read, at least the Egyptian and Skythian Logoi. Jumping back to your query, I read a brilliant analysis of how the Bacchic Orphic Gold Leaves incorporated elements (and sometimes whole lines) or intended to set up parallelisms with the Homeric corpus, particularly Odysseus’ sojourn among the Phaiakians. If I can track it down again I’ll post it. (I think it’s in my academia.edu bookmarks, but there’s like 40 pages of them so it may take me a while as that’s a lot to wade through.)


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